This paper explores the ways in which maritime labor, maritime risk, and seafarers’ survival are embedded in the financial logics and practices of the global shipping industry. By employing the notion of “existential arbitrage,” the ethnography moves through the pursuit of global profit to the value of labor as a commodity, human and financial risk, and ultimately the value of human lives, all of which are arbitraged. Arbitrage is a profit strategy that is based on a belief in the equalizing power of the market yet is predicated on and creates difference among commodities in order to create opportunities to generate profit. Existential arbitrage brings anthropological studies of security and conflict and trade and finance together. By taking the interdependence of these subfields seriously and showing how the relationship between them manifests itself in practice, the notion of existential arbitrage uncovers a brutal financial trading strategy that requires and forces the oscillation between notions of valuable life and the valuation of labor commodities in a competitive global market.
1. Introduction. 2. Industry self-regulation in maritime law. 2.1. Why is industry self-regulation necessary? 2.2. Relevant self-regulatory instru- ments. 3. Industry self-regulation and armed protection. 3.1. Quality assurance of private Maritime Security Companies. 3.2. Use of force. 3.3. Reporting. 4. Remarks and conclusion
The Gulf of Guinea (GoG) region is a vast maritime area off West and Central Africa, and an area of interest to numerous external actors for a range of different reasons including historical relations, trade, oil and fishery. This maritime space is characterised not only by legitimate actors’ presence at sea but also by various types of maritime criminality, with piracy currently being high on the agenda of external actors. Indeed, in 2020, 95% of all maritime kidnappings globally happened in the GoG. Through the application of a specific theoretical lens, namely the politics of piracy numbers, this chapter offers a regional case study of piracy in the GoG. Through this lens, the chapter for example explores how, though being the most counted type of maritime insecurity, piracy is only one aspect of a much broader complex of maritime insecurities. Attending also to the politics of missing numbers, the chapter also explores how far less attention is devoted to counting various onshore dimension of GoG-piracy.
In this video, Professor Christian Bueger (University of Copenhagen) presents the insights of a research project from the SafeSeas network. The presentation builds on a study of capacity building to fight piracy in the Western Indian Ocean.
This chapter provides first a discussion of how maritime security has been conceptualized and theorized and how the field has evolved. It discusses the more particular debates on dedicated maritime security issues: piracy, terrorism, smuggling, environmental crimes and the protection of critical maritime infrastructure. Although the oceans have featured occasionally in the literature on security, peace and development, it is fair to say that for decades scholars were suffering from what some have referred to as collective ‘seablindness’. A range of maritime insecurities have been extensively analysed. These include piracy; terrorism; various forms of smuggling; environmental crimes, hereunder illegal fishing; as well as a nascent literature on maritime critical infrastructures. With ongoing crises in different parts of the world’s oceans, maritime insecurity will continue to be recognized as one of the core dimensions of violence and insecurity. Maritime security also needs to be seen in the context of other international policy areas.
Transnational organised crime at sea is a growing international concern. However, and despite its importance, the concept remains uncertain and contested. This ambiguity has led to a tendency to focus on individual challenges such as piracy or illegal fishing, rather than convergencies and synergies between and across issues, and has stymied a concerted international policy response. Debate continues over the term itself, what illicit activities it incorporates and excludes, and how these can be meaningfully conceptualised in ways that both recognise the diverse nature of the concept yet also provide a basis for an integrated response to the challenges it presents. In this paper, we address this lacuna by providing a systemic conceptualisation and analysis of transnational organised crime at sea. Our goal is to provide a firm basis for future enquiries on the different types of blue crime, to trace their distinct characteristics and identify how they intersect, and to consider what kinds of synergies can be built to respond to them. In so doing, we organise the nascent academic and policy discourse on blue criminology and maritime security to provide a new framework for navigating this complex issue for practitioners and analysts alike.